You’re going away to college in a few months, and it’s time to start preparing. If you’ve never left your home before, the amount of work that you have to do can seem overwhelming.
Our number one piece of advice: Don’t wait until the last minute! If you do, you’ll be scrambling towards the end of the summer while all of your friends want to spend the last week hanging out before they leave too. Instead, set up a three-month plan that will allow you to start and finish small projects that will lead you to the last few days of summer vacation. Remember, the hard part’s done: You’ve been accepted to college, and there’s a space waiting for you. Just follow this list.
What To Do and When
Three Months Out
It seems like you have a lot of time left before you start your college adventure, but there’s still so much to do.
Determine your housing situation. If you requested an on-campus dorm room or suite, make sure that it’s available. Once your college or university has paired you up with someone, contact them to introduce yourself and talk about what each of you will bring: a small refrigerator, coffee machine, plates, dishes, etc. You don’t have to go out and buy all of this now (wait until back-to-school sales start in July), but you’ll know what you need to get.
Register for classes. It’s time to choose your classes (or maybe they’ll be assigned to you). DON’T wait until the last minute to do this—you don’t want to be locked out of general classes that everyone takes in their first two years. If you have a class advisor, make an appointment with them so that you can discuss possible courses you should be taking for your expected major.
Arrange for transportation. You may have a car, but that doesn’t mean you can necessarily park it on campus. Find out what you’re allowed to do as a freshman (or as a transfer student) and then arrange for bus or bike transportation, or pay for a parking sticker if you are allowed to have your car on-campus.
Two Months Out
It’s not quite crunch time, but your time at home is getting closer. Keep working on these essentials:
Moving plans. How are you going to move all of your stuff to your room? You may be driving with your parents, taking a train or bus, or even flying. If you are flying, you’ll have to arrange to have many of your belongings shipped to the school. Find out how that’s done. For example, you’ll want to find out if the school has an area to receive and hold your materials, or maybe you should you use an off-campus mail/delivery service.
Money management. How will you pay for your classes, your phone bill, your meals, and your extras? Talk to the school to find out what banks and ATM machines are on or around campus. If you are getting a credit card and your parents are co-signing, be sure that you know how the card is to be used. With online banking, you will be able to pay many bills online, but you should have all of that setup BEFORE you step on campus.
One Month Out
Almost time to go!
Get your gear. It’s time to start buying everything that you’ll need for school. Check out sale circulars for things that you’ll need in a dorm room, like sheets, pillows, blankets, hangers, and bathroom and shower supplies. If you’re going to school hundreds or thousands of miles away, be sure that you have the right clothes for the college’s climate.
Double check your computer requirements. Most students will have a laptop or mobile device that they’ll use to complete school assignments. Find out if your university suggests a certain computer or what they require for memory and Internet connections. You may need a printer, modem or camera as well, depending on your major or program.
Two Weeks Out
- Contact your roommate or roommates to see if everyone has purchased everything that you need. Complete any last-minute paperwork, send any emails that have been sitting in your inbox, and go through any checklists that the school has sent to you. Find out when the bookstore will be open so that you can purchase your books for class. If you are shipping items to school, start packing them now so you can send everything to the school in time.
If you’re driving, pack your car the night before so that you don’t have to do it in the morning. Drive to school, register, move in, and familiarize yourself with parking, the buildings, and where your classes are going to be. Visit the bookstore and buy your books, and find the schedule for orientation.
Robert Morris University is ready to welcome the Class of 2018 to campus! If you have any questions about moving to campus, give us a call. You are welcome to come to campus for a walking tour before orientation and to talk to an admissions counselor for some one-on-one time. We’re also available to talk to parents about financial aid, so contact us today.